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Planning a Disney Vacation

We are planning a Disney vacation for the summer–and counting our pennies over spring break.
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Here are a few leads on the best help I’ve found for planning a Disney vacation:

  • HELP ON CROWD CONTROL: I think crowd control is key to planning a Disney vacation. I’m hopeful that Undercover Tourist has us covered. This site has invaluable resources like a crowd control calendar that details red, yellow and green light for crowd levels at the Disney Parks. (We are headed to Disney World in July and you better believe we won’t be headed to a theme park marked crowded and “red” in 100 degree weather.)  It also has links for Disney World Wait Time Apps for your phone. We need every tool we can get.
  • A TOUR GUIDE IN YOUR POCKET: Another awesome Disney vacation planner resource is the Unofficial Guide Walt Disney World 2013. This book is only $11 from Amazon and shares all kinds of tips like what to do before you leave home, making the most of your time and money while you are there, reader reviews of transportation and accommodations, the best places to eat and when to arrive . . . I am studying it cover to cover.
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  • A NEW IDEA FOR ACCOMMODATIONS: We have stayed at Disney hotels before and I love them dearly. But our family is growing and we just cannot afford two rooms each night. So, this Disney vacation I am investigating vacation rentals by owner. My favorite site for this is  AirBNB. I haven’t booked yet, but I have found many three bedroom condos–with a kitchen, washer and dryer and swimming pool–near Disney World. This does mean we have to rent a car, but it also means we have the option of eating breakfast (and possibly dinner) at home. It also means we can pack less clothing and wash our shorts and t-shirts. I am looking carefully at user reviews and checking with a travel agent about the true proximity of these rentals to the parks.
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  • HELP ON MAKING TIME COUNT: Finally, I’ve also found help in planning our Disney vacation from April Perry at the Power of Moms. A former Disney cast member herself, April has a FREE e-book called the Power of Moms Disney Guide. This book details not only tips and tricks for manuervering through the park, but thoughts on actually growing closer as a family while you are there. It’s called “deliberate mothering” and is the theme throughout this awesome site. I set this site alongside Today’s Mama as a great resource on all things family.
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